Individuals living with cancer may experience cognitive changes, such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating or trouble multitasking. These cognitive changes are commonly referred to as “chemobrain.” For some, they are temporary and subtle, but for others, they are more noticeable and may continue after treatment ends.
While the exact cause of these changes is unknown, possible contributing factors include the cancer itself, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chronic insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain or certain vitamin deficiencies. It is important to evaluate these types of cognitive changes, as they can often negatively impact one’s quality of life, family roles and performance at work or school.
The team at Miami Cancer Institute’s Brain Fitness Lab cares for individuals of all ages and strives to minimize the impact of chemobrain on our patients’ well-being. Our team consists of psychiatrists, psychometricians and a clinical neuropsychologist, who work collaboratively to offer the following:
- Assessment of cognitive changes - This includes a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation, laboratory studies to check for specific blood markers linked to cognitive deficits and brain imaging studies, if necessary.
- Diagnosis - Using a computerized neurocognitive screening and a neuropsychological test, our team assesses verbal/visual memory, processing speed, executive function (mental flexibility) and word-finding fluency.
- Treatment - Once cognitive deficits have been identified, treatment can begin. This includes traditional cognitive rehabilitation with a speech pathologist or occupational therapist, or online cognitive training using BrainHQ by Posit Science with support from our psychometrician.
If you or your loved one is experiencing cognitive changes since your cancer diagnosis or treatment, contact the Cancer Patient Support Center for more information or to schedule an appointment.
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